Hydrotesting of Fire Extinguisher

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Hydrotesting of Fire Extinguisher

We provides fire extinguisher hydrotesting testing for every type of fire extinguisher available. Fire extinguisher hydrotesting is required at regular intervals to ensure that the shell of the fire extinguisher holds up under pressure. Periodic hydrostatic pressure testing is performed on portable fire extinguishers to evaluate the containers’ strength against unwanted failure. The tests are performed by qualified service technicians in a controlled environment to minimize the risk of injury or damage. Hydrostatic testing is performed by filling the container with water or another non- compressible fluid that is compatible with the fire extinguisher container. The pressure is then increased on the container to a specific point as required by the manufacturer or Federal safety standards, and the container is inspected for potential failure points. The pressure must be maintained for at least 30 seconds.

What’s involved in fire extinguisher hydrostatic testing?

During a hydrostatic test, your fire extinguisher will be filled with water or oil and then pressurized to test the shell for integrity. Once the shell is pressurized, the supply valve is closed off to test for any pressure losses or vessel deformations. Sometimes the liquid is colored to make it easier to see.

Safety Considerations

During a hydrostatic test, your fire extinguisher will be pressurized to a higher than normal operating pressure—usually 125 – 150 percent of the normal load. This high pressure will show whether the fire extinguisher has become structurally weakened over the years. If a fire extinguisher has weakened, it could fail or explode when used, presenting an extreme risk to the operator and anyone in the building.

What Are the Steps for Hydrostatic Testing?

Hydrostatic testing is a multistage process. Typically, a hydrostatic test is performed as follows:

  • Visual inspection, noting things like the condition of the threads and the presence of any corrosion
  • Removal of the hose
  • Discharging of the extinguisher’s contents until it is empty
  • Valve removal
  • Pressure testing, where the tank is filled with water then pressurized to between 125 and 150 percent of operational capacity
  • Draining of the water and refilling with new fire suppressant material
  • Updating of decals to reflect successful hydrostatic testing
  • Re-pressurization of unit to operational capacity
  • Re-installation of safety components, such as the tamper seal, then return to service